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Brooklyn Political Roundup, October 18: Another challenger for Dan Donovan’s seat

In Public Service, From The Political Staff Of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

October 18, 2017 By John Alexander and Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Michael DeVito Jr. is the latest candidate to step into the race for the House seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan. Photo courtesy of DeVito campaign
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DeVito to Announce Run for Donovan’s Seat

Michael DeVito, Jr., a veteran of the U.S. Marines, is the latest candidate to throw his hat into the ring for the 2018 election for the Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island House seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan. 

DeVito will officially announce on Saturday at a rally on Staten Island that he is running in the 11th Congressional District. He is currently an educator at the New York Center for Interpersonal Development. 

“Like everyone who lives in this community, I want what is best for my family, both now and for the future.  If we continue to work together, we can get the fair shake we all need and deserve.  We can realistically solve our collective problems, be it jobs and economic development, the security of our nation, transportation and infrastructure issues or any problem facing us.  The time for talk is done, and the time for action is now,” DeVito said in a statement.

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Police Sergeant’s Union Endorses Malliotakis 

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican candidate for mayor, was endorsed by the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) on Tuesday. The endorsement came during SBA’s monthly meeting at Antun’s reception hall in Queens Village. 

SBA president Ed Mullins released the following statement on Tuesday:

“Today, the Sergeants Benevolent Association is proud to endorse Nicole Malliotakis in the race for mayor. Make no mistake; Assemblywoman Maliotakis is the polar opposite of Bill de Blasio. During her career in the New York State Assembly, Nicole Malliotakis has proven by her actions and her votes that she is supports law enforcement and safe communities. She believes in the men and women of the NYPD and understands the danger they face on a daily basis. She also believes in the leadership and dedication of the men and women in this room; the frontline supervisors of the world’s best police department.” 

SBA is made up of approximately 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants. It is the fifth-largest police union in the country.

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Carroll Says Riders are Responding to His MTA Survey

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope-Windsor Terrace) recently went into the subway system to hand out a survey to riders to solicit their opinions on how transit services in New York City can be improved and how MTA should be spending its money. 

There was no shortage of opinions, according to Carroll, who said he was swamped with replies from beleaguered riders eager to share their thoughts. 

“Already nearly 1,000 people have filled out my survey on what MTA funding ideas they think are the best to deal with the sustained mass transit crisis in NYC,” Carroll said. 

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Lawmakers Honor Legacy of Dr. Joyce Maynard

Several elected officials expressed support the city’s move on Oct. 14 to rename a portion of Buffalo Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant in memory of Dr. Joan Maynard Way, the founder of the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville. 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, state Sens. Jesse Hamilton and Velmanette Montgomery, U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, Assemblymember Tremaine Wright and City Councilmembers Robert Cornegy and Darlene Mealy all endorsed the street re-naming proposal.

The section of Buffalo Avenue between St. Marks Avenue and Bergen Street will now be known as “Dr. Joan Maynard Way.” 

Hamilton presented the Weeksville Heritage Center with a $10,000 check for the center’s education programs.

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Congressional Black Caucus Meets with Facebook’s COO

Members of the House Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), including U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Canarsie-Sheepshead Bay-Coney Island), met last week with Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election as well as recent reports that Russian operatives have been posting racially insensitive fake news items on the social networking site.

Jeffries issued the following statement after the meeting:

“The manipulation of Facebook by foreign actors to interfere with our elections and fan the flames of racial hatred is an existential threat to our democracy. We cannot allow Facebook and other social media platforms to be used as kerosene, spreading fake news throughout our country designed to misinform and divide the American electorate. Facebook can do better, and they have committed to members of the Congressional Black Caucus that they will do better,” he stated.

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Arab American Assoc. to Host Candidates’ Forum

The Arab American Association of New York will hold a candidates’ forum focusing on the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst City Council seat. All three candidates, Democrat Justin Brannan, Republican John Quaglione and Reform Party candidate Bob Capano, have been invited to speak at the event.

The forum will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Intermediate School 30, 7002 Fourth Ave., starting at 7 p.m.

The issues to be discussed will include sanctuary cities, Islamophobia and plans to reform the New York Police Department, according to the association. 

For more information on the forum, call the Association at 718-745-3523.

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Kissel Condemns Projected L-Train Shutdown

Reform Party candidate for Brooklyn borough president Ben Kissel joined New York State Reform Party Chair Curtis Sliwa and other Reform Party candidates and supporters on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall on Oct. 12 to speak out about the complete shutdown of the L train in 2019.

Kissel termed it an “L-Pocalypse,” and advocated staggered train service rather than complete shutdown.

“What [the MTA] is trying to do now is horrible,” Kissel said from the steps of Borough Hall. “When I am Brooklyn borough president, I will advocate to save the L train for the hundreds of thousands of people [who] ride it on a daily basis.”

“I was born and raised in Canarsie at the tail end of the L Train in Rockaway Parkway,” Sliwa said. “The guy behind us, Eric Adams, the borough president, he went to sleep. He’s like Rumpelstiltskin on this issue, as were all the other politicos!”

Bob Capano, a Reform Party candidate who is the running for Brooklyn’s 43rd Council District (Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights) seat, said, “This would be like the R train being completely shut down in Bay Ridge. This is unacceptable for any part of Brooklyn. I worked for two borough presidents, Howard Golden and Marty Markowitz, and neither one of them would accept this!”


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Turner Endorses Saperstein for City Council

Republican and Reform Party candidate Steve Saperstein, who is running for City Council in the 48th District (Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Midwood), has received an endorsement from former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner. Saperstein is running against Democratic incumbent Chaim Deutsch.

Turner, whose strongest support came from the Jewish and Russian communities, said, “I urge all of my friends and former constituents in Brooklyn to support Steve Saperstein because we desperately need to bring some common sense to the City Council. I still remember walking the streets of this district in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and unfortunately, families are still suffering. Steve will be a strong advocate to make sure the voices of this community are heard at City Hall, in Albany and in Washington.”

Saperstein was thrilled with the endorsement. “I am honored to have the support of Bob Turner. He represented this district in Brooklyn with honor and distinction in Congress. His counsel will be invaluable to me as we work to finally recover from Superstorm Sandy.”

Saperstein blamed what he called “the failed de Blasio-Deutsch policies” for having a detrimental impact on Brooklyn communities. “My campaign is focused on bringing common sense to City Hall to address our homeless crisis, supporting our public and private schools, and improving our public transportation,” said Saperstein.

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Quaglione Holds General Election Kickoff Rally

With the general election a little more than a month away, on Sunday, Republican City Council nominee John Quaglione held his official general election kickoff rally at his campaign headquarters at 8425 Fifth Ave. in Bay Ridge.

Joining Quaglione were U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, New York State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, State Sen. Marty Golden, Republican Borough President nominee Vito Bruno, Dyker Civic Association President Fran Vella Marrone and Quaglione’s campaign manager John Orlando.

Golden praised Quaglione for his commitment to the community. “John Quaglione is there, and what we have to do is just put him over the top. We have to be able to galvanize our voters and get our voters out there.”

Golden made a plea to all the volunteers and supporters present to work hard in the final stretch of the campaign.

“If we do that,” said Golden, “We will have a better-balanced city when it comes to money. This man [Quaglione] will stand side by side with the other Republican City Council members to make sure that they do not raise our taxes and do not continue to regulate us.” Long added that with Quaglione in office, “we will know what the City Council is up to.”  

Also at Quaglione’s side at the rally were his wife Kerry and daughters Natalie Grace and Olivia.

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Treyger Earns Endorsements from Police, Fire Unions

Incumbent City Councilmember Mark Treyger, running for his second term in office representing the 47th District, which includes Coney Island, Gravesend and Bensonhurst, has gained endorsements from three law enforcement and public safety unions. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), the Detectives’ Endowment Association (DEA), and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) all expressed support for the candidate.

“New York City police officers need allies in the City Council who will support us in the difficult, dangerous work we do,” said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch, “Councilmember Mark Treyger has demonstrated a commitment to issues that are most important to police officers and to the safety of all New Yorkers.”

DEA President Michael J. Palladino said, “During his first term, Councilmember Treyger was a leader we could count on to support law enforcement as we work to keep our city safe. I look forward to working with him during his next term,”

Treyger said he was humbled to receive the endorsements from these organizations, adding, “These brave individuals put their lives on the line every day and I am committed to supporting them. We are safer when we work together and I am eager to once again do my part to make our communities better for all.”



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